NBA Free Agency: 3 Reasons Why the Bulls Should Not Pursue Steve Nash
Rumors have been running rampant as multiple sources are implying the possibility of the Chicago Bulls pursuing Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Steve Nash. The Bulls signing Nash would be a mistake if the Bulls wish to contend for a championship next season.
There is no denying the two-time MVP's abilities to make others around him better, but Thibodeau's offense and defense do not fit Nash's style of play. There are also better options on the free agent market who would probably improve the Bulls' offensive and defensive strength more than Nash.
I am a huge Steve Nash fan. In fact, I would consider him one of my favorite players of all time. I am just skeptical, to say the least, that he would be capable of fitting into the Bulls' scheme. Carlos Boozer is already a huge liability on defense, and I don't believe they can afford to have another added to the roster.
Steve Nash defending Russell Westbrook
Steve Nash has never been known for his defensive prowess. In fact, he has been regarded as the exact opposite. His style of play for nearly his entire career has become synonymous with the been a run-and-gun offense.
Nash has never been forced to make defensive stops because both Phoenix and Dallas had one goal: outscore the opponent. This is a big reason why he has never been able to capture an NBA Championship.
With the league getting bigger, faster and stronger, and the evolution of the point guard position changing so quickly, it only further diminishes Nash's value on a championship caliber team such as the Bulls, who predicate themselves on defense.
Point guards such as Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, John Wall, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, etc. have all taken advantage of Nash's small stature, limited speed and inability to play the pick-and-roll or post-up well.
Additionally, Nash averaged less than one steal per game in 2012 (0.6 steals per game). He offered very little resistance with his weight and quickness in the post, and his ability to create turnovers is lackluster, to say the least.
These problems should be one of the biggest concerns that sways the Bulls' focus to a more physical and defensively capable point guard.
Nash Needs an Up-Tempo Style Offense
Steve Nash Jumper
It is well-documented that Steve Nash works best in the run-and-gun style of offense, which is why I do not believe he would work well in the Bulls predominantly half-court offense. Although Nash is great at the pick-and-roll, his effectiveness is limited when he isn't pushing the pace of the offense.
Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng would benefit from Nash's ability to dish the ball, but other than Hamilton, the Bulls do not possess a player who would play well enough on the fast break along side Nash. The Bulls lack fast break finishers, and that is due to the fact that Coach Thibodeau doesn't run that style of offense.
The guys who helped Nash be his most effective were Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, etc. The Bulls' roster has no one of that talent level, other than Rose, Hamilton and Deng.
Rose and Deng will be out more than half the season, and Hamilton is coming off a season in which he missed 38 games (a career high).
Nash's game is predicated on speed, finesse, quickness and efficiency, and having three of the best players on the team capable of complimenting that style not on the floor for half the season will not help the Bulls, it will hurt them.
Better Options to Improve Both Offense and Defense
Andre Miller guarding Jason Kidd
The Bulls reportedly have not only expressed interest in Nash, but they have also targeted veterans Jason Kidd and Andre Miller as well. These two point guards would provide the size and speed necessary to allow each of them to guard the bigger point guards in the league. They are also able to guard the shooting guards and small forwards if needed.
The 36-year-old Miller averaged 9.7 PPG, 6.7 APG and 1 SPG in only 23 minutes per game in 2012. He is a model of consistency, and is capable of stepping up as a starter while Rose is injured and eventually falling back into a bench player role when needed.
Kidd is 39 and is a future Hall of Fame player. His resume doesn't need explanation because it speaks for itself. Kidd is averaging 13 PPG and 9 APG over his 18-year career and won a title with the Mavericks in 2011.
Both are proven court generals who can direct the floor and be something of a coach on the floor. This is something that C.J. Watson and John Lucas III were not capable of doing. Kidd and Miller can also provide veteran leadership, playoff experience and valuable leadership.
Overall, I believe these two, along with a few others that could eventually be on the Bulls' list, are better options than Nash. I believe Nash holds some of the same qualities as Miller and Kidd, but Nash's defensive shortcomings will ultimately lead to the Bulls going in another direction.
Other Options in Free Agency Include:
John Lucas, III